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"Henshaw and the Case of the Missing Blackboard Eraser" Challenge
Henshaw #1

by Andrew Beattie

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Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 10 Nov 2011

Tommy Tanner hated Henshaw with a passion, and felt, like most people, that he deserved a most exacting thrashing. Being a mere fag, he was in no position to do anything about it, except dream. And dream he did. Other people who felt the same, were just waiting for the opportunity to arise.

As Henshaw's fag, Tommy was, more than most, familiar with the sixth formers body. He routinely saw it, partly and fully exposed, such as when the boy took his bath, or as he was dressing. Tommy would have agreed, had anyone asked, at least to himself, that it was a particularly excellent example of a seventeen year old male; tall, blond haired (genuinely so!) blue eyed; exquisitely muscled, flawless smooth skin, all finished off by Adonis like features that attracted boys and girls alike. It was a pity that this vision of loveliness was such an un-mitigating cad and bounder. Especially to his fag! Tommy regularly dreamed of seeing Henshaw's round bottom striped with the unmistakable evidence of being visited by a whippy cane, a great number of times. He also dreamed he had put the stripes there. Tommy enjoyed this dream, which he had regularly; its one drawback being he would wake up with sticky pyjamas trousers. Only getting a clean pair once a week meant they were rather disgusting.

It was because of Henshaw that Tommy was due a swishing from the Housemaster. A swishing he most dreaded. You may wonder why, so I shall tell you.

Tommy had been caught returning the missing Blackboard Eraser from his form room. This is a critical though small item of classroom equipment, about eight inches long, and two in cross section, the top part made of wood, the lower felt. It effectively removes chalk from blackboards, thus enabling Masters to clean them, and write something new. However, when missing there is no end of consternation, inconvenience and delay, caused to the learning process. When it remains missing for two days, it is infuriating!

To Masters, that is. Boys find it the cause of great mirth and distraction. On first becoming aware the master had simply asked if anyone knew where it was? No one owned up, though Tommy squirmed with guilt.

When it had not reappeared the next morning, the form tutor had stronger words. At the beginning of afternoon lessons the Housemaster appeared and stated that blackboard erasers had never been known to disappear before; that indeed, they were more likely to wear out, and that if any boy was found to be deliberately hiding it, he, the Housemaster, would try to wear out his cane on that boys bare bottom!

And this morning, while Tommy had tried to replace the eraser he was caught. Red handed. The Housemaster had looked deep into Tommy's soul and seeing the abject fear he was hoping for, said, menacingly, through clenched teeth, “Report to my study at four o'clock boy”.

Why had Tommy committed this strange and annoying crime? Well the simple answer, and the truth, is that Henshaw ordered him to. Tommy was in a Catch 22 situation as we might say. You see, if he had refused, as his fag master, and a bully, Henshaw would have caned him. Henshaw would have caned him very hard, (though not on his bare bottom, as that is against the rules.) He would have caned him over his sports shorts, or pyjamas, which is nearly as bad as on the bare bottom, and within the rules. As well as caning him hard, he could, and would (knowing Henshaw as we do, I am sure you are already with me on this), have caned him often. The full four strokes on each occasion; and as many occasions as he could justify. All he would need is for Tommy to refuse an order, and he would cane him as hard as he possibly could. So Tommy took the eraser, and hoped that the Housemasters cane would wear out quickly.

Unfortunately, when he thought about it, he doubted it would.

It was at lunch time that Tommy was met by Williams, the House Captain, and taken into the House Prefects common room.

“I won't waste time. Just tell me, you did not take that eraser for yourself did you?”

Tommy whispered, “No”.

“You were told to take them for or by someone else?”


“Will you tell me who?”


“Well if it was anyone other than Henshaw, say so. Otherwise just leave.”

Tommy left.

As he went to the dining room, he felt elated, a great weight having lifted from him. He nearly cried. He did not know what would happen next. He liked and trusted Williams, and felt sure he would be dealt with fairly.

So it proved. At four o'clock he arrived at the Housemasters study to find Henshaw already waiting.

“What have you said, you little shit?”

“Nothing at all, Henshaw.”

The older boy glared, but before he could say more the Housemasters door opened and Williams called Tommy in. Henshaw looked confused.

“Williams has told me a tale, and insists that if I beat you, an unacceptable miscarriage of justice will occur. So let me be clear, you did not take the eraser for your own use?”

“No Sir.”

“You were under orders, and at least felt you could not refuse to take it?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Very well. You may go.” Turning to Williams he said, “Bring Henshaw in.”

Tommy opened the door and Williams followed him out, sending in the rather worried looking prefect. Williams caught Tommy by the arm and hurriedly suggested he go round to the Housemasters window “to see justice done”.

By the time he arrived it was clear, looking in on the scene, that Henshaw was in a very worried, even scared state. The Housemaster was furious, and getting madder by the minute; and Williams was enjoying himself, his head moving from one to the other like an Umpire at a Tennis match. As Tommy watched, from within the safety of a rhododendron, Henshaw stopped protesting, became increasingly humbled and looked absolutely beaten.

Well not quite. Emotionally maybe. Physically that was yet to come.

Responding to instructions, he removed his jacket and handed it to Williams who took it away somewhere. He then moved to the end of the Masters desk, unfastened his belt and flies, lowered his trousers and under shorts. He bent over the desk and gripped the sides.

The Housemaster opened a draw in the desk, and removed what to Tommy seemed to be a very long, whippy cane. He swished it about, and flexed it in his hands, while Henshaw looked round, frightened.

Williams, returning, pulled Henshaw's shirt up, and folded it over the boys back, exposing the beautiful bottom, legs and lower torso.

Taking his position, the Housemaster tapped the cane on the target, adjusting his position until he was quite satisfied. Taking a wide swing he whipped the cane down onto the waiting bum. Tommy saw the cane bite deeply, and rejoiced that Henshaw was getting a taste of his own medicine.

By the time all twelve strokes had been delivered, Henshaw was clearly crying, his bottom was marked with deep red, going purple, welts, and Williams had had to hold him by the shoulders to keep him in position.

Tommy thought the Housemaster had done a very good job, and decided, if not then and there, certainly soon after, that he wanted to be a school master one day. He also noted that the cane showed no sign of wear at all!

It was later announced to the assembled house, by Williams, that Henshaw was no longer a Prefect.

To this day, no one, but Henshaw, knows why he wanted the Blackboard Erasers.

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